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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old August 23rd, 2011, 11:18 AM   #1
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Shooting video and stills

I was asked over the summer to shoot video and photos for a September 2nd wedding. I told the couple that I would rather not do that because the quality of my video would decrease if I had to focus on shooting photos also, so I told them I would find a photographer to shoot stills and we would split the money. They seemed to be fine with that idea, but now the wedding is just over a week away and I still haven't found a photographer. The reason being that there are so many terrible wedding photogs where I live and the ones with skill will not shoot weddings for the amount of money being offered.

I'm confident in my photography skills, and I'm contemplating shooting the photos myself. My only worry is whether or not I can handle it or not. I have up to two assistants that can help me on that day, but they are just assistants and I do not trust their camera work if I left them unattended while I shot photos.

I need some advice...what would y'all recommend I do? Any advice on shooting both video and photos at a wedding would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Jamie
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Old August 23rd, 2011, 11:41 AM   #2
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Re: Shooting video and stills

I think you've answered your own question. You don't feel comfortable with doing both at the same time ... so I wouldn't do it. Personally I think anyone that tries to shoot both on the wedding day won't be able to do both well.

I'm not sure why you took the money and said you'd find a photographer for them. Why not just refer them to other photographers you'd like to work with and let them pick one?
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Old August 23rd, 2011, 01:02 PM   #3
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Re: Shooting video and stills

Rent an Epic.

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Old August 23rd, 2011, 01:10 PM   #4
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Re: Shooting video and stills

You don't say what cameras you're shooting, but shooting both photo and video "simultaneously" for a single shooter will be pretty tough - you're brain will have an interesting time keeping on top of which you're doing... experimented with it (with a second shooter), it's not an easy thing to do.

With one week to go, and the money agreed on, you've got a bit of a pickle... perhaps it's time to give your assistants a "crash course" in stills and or video cam operation - you've got three bodies, I'll presume enough cameras, time to scramble IMO! You really need a second shooter at a minimum...
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Old August 23rd, 2011, 01:15 PM   #5
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Re: Shooting video and stills

I was asked to do the same thing by a bride for a wedding a few weeks ago, and I did it. What I took away from that experience was that you need an extra assistant in addition to the one you already bring who knows your style and how you capture formals. I simply acted as the photographer and had my assistant right next to me on the slider capturing my setups.
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Old August 23rd, 2011, 01:18 PM   #6
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Re: Shooting video and stills

What I'd do if Im in your situation is to shoot multicam at list 2-3 cameras, 1 wide, 1 medium shot and 1 close up shot and get an assistant to help you at list framing the close up shots, then you can go on and snap your pictures, once in a while get back to your video cams and check if they are still in frame. That is a lot of stress being in 2 places at one time.

I have been doing that earlier on my weddings, but gave up on it but it will work as long as you know what your'er doing. Just make sure that the record is on in all your cameras. Good luck and let us know if you pulled it through.

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Old August 23rd, 2011, 01:23 PM   #7
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Re: Shooting video and stills

It seems you need to hire a skilled photographer and lose some money out of your pocket. You shouldn't have promised something you can't deliver. Take the loss of money, pay someone that knows what they are doing learn from this experience.
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Old August 23rd, 2011, 03:59 PM   #8
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Re: Shooting video and stills

I didn't promise something I can't deliver. I know I can pull through and do this, but as I said, I want to devote most of my time to shooting video because that's what I pride myself in.

I have photographers lined up that can help me out if need be, but I wanted to hear some input from anyone who shoots video and stills at weddings...because I know their are people who do so.

Thanks for the feedback everyone.
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Old August 23rd, 2011, 06:39 PM   #9
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Re: Shooting video and stills

How did we go from this ...
Quote:
... but now the wedding is just over a week away and I still haven't found a photographer.
... to this?
Quote:
I have photographers lined up that can help me out if need be ...
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Old August 23rd, 2011, 07:32 PM   #10
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Re: Shooting video and stills

Jamie,

I've run into some couples that were strapped for money too. What I've done for them is offer to do a photo shoot (not a freebie, but not expensive add-on) to go with the wedding video I make for them. But I'm careful to explain that it's not really possible to do video and stills at the same time.

When a couple can't afford both a photographer and a videographer, there are 3 choices:
1. Hope the videographer is also able to shoot some stills with his DSLR. Most of us have one.
2. Hope the photographer is also able to make a decent video.
3. Choose to give up either the video or the stills.

I offer the couple choice #1, and explain that while I might not get photos during the ceremony, they probably have plenty of friends and family snapping away, to go with the portraits I'd take during lulls in the action. It does take a little time for my brain to shift from shooting video to shooting stills. I don't try to do too many stills either. It's just an effort to be helpful, to give an option that doesn't cost them a whole lot more. But I do charge for my time, both taking the stills and touching up in Photoshop. They have to find their own option for prints.

No arm twisting. I truthfully explain that I'm primarily a videographer that's also pretty decent at stills. It's up to them to decide which of the 3 options makes the most sense to them. And of course, I do have a vested interest in them choosing option 1. It's a bummer when the couple says "we can't afford both so we went with just the photographer..."

People in my area are really hurting for money. A few nights ago the Bucs game was blacked out, so I set my DVR to catch the delayed airing of the game. No kidding, it really stuck out on that telecast that more that 2/3 of the seats at Raymond James were empty! For years they sold out every game. Not any more.

Most people around here don't have the disposable income they once had. We need to give clients options that work for them, but still work for us. Of course there will always be the high end clients, but to get those clients you have to overcome formidable competitors. Really formidable. And not just local competitors.
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Last edited by Roger Van Duyn; August 23rd, 2011 at 08:05 PM. Reason: typo and a comment
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Old August 24th, 2011, 09:28 AM   #11
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Re: Shooting video and stills

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
How did we go from this ...


... to this?
Because it's a misunderstanding. By saying I haven't found one means that I haven't CHOSEN one. I have options, but like I said, I have yet to decide whether I'm shooting the photos myself or hiring a photog. That's why I made the thread to begin with...to have more opinions so that my final decision is a good one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Van Duyn View Post
Jamie,

I've run into some couples that were strapped for money too. What I've done for them is offer to do a photo shoot (not a freebie, but not expensive add-on) to go with the wedding video I make for them. But I'm careful to explain that it's not really possible to do video and stills at the same time.

When a couple can't afford both a photographer and a videographer, there are 3 choices:
1. Hope the videographer is also able to shoot some stills with his DSLR. Most of us have one.
2. Hope the photographer is also able to make a decent video.
3. Choose to give up either the video or the stills.

I offer the couple choice #1, and explain that while I might not get photos during the ceremony, they probably have plenty of friends and family snapping away, to go with the portraits I'd take during lulls in the action. It does take a little time for my brain to shift from shooting video to shooting stills. I don't try to do too many stills either. It's just an effort to be helpful, to give an option that doesn't cost them a whole lot more. But I do charge for my time, both taking the stills and touching up in Photoshop. They have to find their own option for prints.

No arm twisting. I truthfully explain that I'm primarily a videographer that's also pretty decent at stills. It's up to them to decide which of the 3 options makes the most sense to them. And of course, I do have a vested interest in them choosing option 1. It's a bummer when the couple says "we can't afford both so we went with just the photographer..."

People in my area are really hurting for money. A few nights ago the Bucs game was blacked out, so I set my DVR to catch the delayed airing of the game. No kidding, it really stuck out on that telecast that more that 2/3 of the seats at Raymond James were empty! For years they sold out every game. Not any more.

Most people around here don't have the disposable income they once had. We need to give clients options that work for them, but still work for us. Of course there will always be the high end clients, but to get those clients you have to overcome formidable competitors. Really formidable. And not just local competitors.
Thanks for the info, Roger.
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